Peace and goodwill? Major blow for the EU as 2 wannabe member countries go head-to-head on a war footing.

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readDec 28, 2022

On Monday, Serbia positioned self-propelled 155 mm gun-howitzers near the border with Kosovo

Worst Christmas present for EU’s enlargement plans — and Brexit means the UK dodges another bullet

Serbia goes to Defcon 1 against neighbouring Kosovo — EU powerless

The EU’s plans for enlargement into the Balkans were dealt a major blow on Boxing Day (26 Dec 2022) when the Defence Minister of EU candidate country Serbia put the country on what amounts to a war footing with neighbouring Kosovo — another aspiring EU member.

It was announced from Belgrade that Serbian armed forces had been put on “the highest level of alert”, as the army’s Chief of Staff visited troops on the border.

“Serbia’s president… ordered the Serbian army to be on the highest level of combat readiness, that is to the level of the use of armed force.”

- Serbian Defence Minister Milos Vucevic, Belgrade, 26 Dec 2022

Serbia is an official candidate country going through the EU’s accession process whilst Kosovo has applied to join and currently has ‘Potential Candidate’ status, and is also going through the process.

This must be the worst possible Boxing Day present for EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The UK contributed billions to the EU’s fund for ‘Pre-Accession Assistance

Despite five EU member countries refusing even to accept Kosovo’s existence — and in a stunning display of EU ‘solidarity’ — the EU Commission has been spending member states’ money on Kosovo via its ‘Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance’ (IPA). For 2014–2020, IPA II funding allocated for Kosovo amounted to €573.1 million — over £0.5bn.

In the same period, the EU’s funding for its attempts to bring all six Western Balkans countries into the EU amounted to €18.5bn (c. £16bn GBP). The UK coughed up around £2bn (GBP) of this.

Serbian Ministry of Interior says the entire country is now in a state of full combat readiness

It is not only Serbia’s military which is on a war footing. The entire country has been put on “full combat readiness”. Yesterday (27 Dec 2022) in Belgrade, Serbian Minister of the Interior Bratislav Gasic made a statement.

“…At the order of President of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces Aleksandar Vucic, he requested that all units of the Ministry of the Interior be raised at the level of full combat readiness.

“In line with the order of President Vucic, I requested that all units of the Ministry of the Interior, Gendarmerie, Special Anti-Terrorist Units and the Police Brigade raise their condition to that of full combat readiness, which should be placed under the command of the Chief of the General Staff…”

- Bratislav Gasic, Serbian Minister of the Interior, Belgrade, 27 Dec 2022

EU chaos: Five of the EU27 don’t even recognise Kosovo (the UK does)

The EU’s troubles over Kosovo started when it declared independence. Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia was passed on 17 February 2008 by a vote of members of its parliament. The then United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown recognised the new country the following day.

To this day, five EU member countries still refuse even to accept Kosovo’s existence: Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. Bizarrely, however, the EU recognises Kosovo with ‘Potential Candidate’ status for membership. Weird? Well, we are talking about the EU.

Kosovo is a divided country — and British troops are helping to keep the peace

Most Kosovans are in fact ethnic Albanians. In the north of the country, however, is a disputed territory which mostly contains ethnic Serbs. It is principally thanks to the presence of NATO and its ‘Kosovo Force’ (KFOR) that the peace has been kept thus far. British troops serve as part of KFOR, so this does have relevance to the United Kingdom.

The latest dispute between Kosovo and Serbia relates to Kosovo’s arrest of an ethnic Serbian policeman, as well as to the Kosovan government’s recent decree that all car number plates should be Kosovan, not Serbian.

Kosovo and Serbia have been in an almost constant state of conflict since Kosovo first declared its independence 14 years ago. That said, the rhetoric has certainly been dialled up a notch in recent days.

Among all of this, the EU is attempting to bring all six of the Western Balkans countries into its empire. The news on Boxing Day that Serbia was going to ‘Defcon 1’ must have been the worst-ever Christmas present for EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

As I showed above, the EU is heavily invested — financially and politically — in the accession of these countries to full membership. As an EU member country, the British taxpayer was contributing billions towards the EU’s expansionist dreams.

One of the many benefits of Brexit is that the British taxpayer is no longer on the hook for the EU’s largesse as it continues trying to expand its sclerotic empire.

Sources: Serbian Foreign Ministry | Serbian Interior Ministry | Kosovan government | EU Commission | NATO ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.